Naomi Osaka stressed ahead of Madrid Open as she hopes to break her clay duck

Naomi Osaka was knocked out of the 2021 Madrid Open
Naomi Osaka from Japan reacts after losing to Maria Sakkari from Greece in the quarter-finals at the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Sakkari defeated Osaka in straight sets to advance to the semi-finals. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxONLY MIA20210331129 GARYxIxROTHSTEIN

World number 2 Naomi Osaka let out her inner thoughts prior to the Madrid Open

Four-time Grand Slam champion, Naomi Osaka, is excited as well as a bit nervous for her game in Madrid.

She acknowledges the fact that she is skeptical of her performance in clay. The absence of proper success in clay adds to her anxiety.

“I feel for me it’s exciting to go into the clay-court swing because I haven’t won a tournament on clay yet. Even though that does make me a bit excited, it also gives me a bit of stress because I really want to do well here”, (h/t WTA Tennis)

Naomi Osaka in action during the 2020 Australian Open. (Getty Images)

The 23 year old from Japan is conflicted regarding her viewpoint. She understands what is best for her, although she is having a tough time controlling the flow of thoughts.

“I do better when I don’t stress myself out and tell myself that I have to win a tournament,” Osaka said. “But it’s really hard to fight that feeling when you really want something.”

Osaka is treating the Madrid Open as a training ground for the Roland Garros. The long absence from clay will be influencing her performance. However, she needs to pull up her socks if she wishes to succeed at the French open.

“At the end of the day, I haven’t played a clay tournament in two years. I haven’t touched clay in two years either. I’m just going in here just trying to have fun and trying to build match play for the French Open.”

Naomi Osaka in Madrid Open

Osaka’s performance in the hard court is sure to make anyone jealous. All of her Grand Slams have come from the hard court sector. While she takes on the clay challenge in order to claim new taste of victory, her performance in Madrid Open is not exactly to her level.

Osaka entered the tournament twice once in 2018 and again in 2019. She was up against Zhang Shuai in the first round match which she lost and had to say goodbye to the tournament.

Naomi Osaka was on the end of a bagel in the 2021 Miami Open
Naomi Osaka from Japan sits with a towel on her head after losing the first set 6-0 to Maria Sakkari from Greece in the quarter-finals at the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 (Imago Images)

The following year she once again entered the tournament with the zeal of improving her records. She eventually eased past the first round barrier and ultimately ended up setting a quarter final clash against Belinda Bencic. Her semi-final dreams were crushed in the hands of the Swiss professional.

Osaka has two challenges in front of her right now. Firstly, she has to improve her record at the tournament. Secondly, her absence from clay means she will be a bit rusty in her performance, which she has to shake off before the French Open.

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